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California Bookwatch

Volume 2, Number 11 November 2007 Home | CALBW Index

Table of Contents

Donovan's Picks Language Studies Shelf Needlecraft Shelf
Biography Shelf Library DVD Shelf Christian Studies Shelf
Art Shelf Military Shelf World History Shelf
Health/Medicine Shelf Psychology Shelf Pets/Wildlife Shelf
Science Shelf Music Shelf Writing/Publishing Shelf
Cookbook Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Computer Shelf Audiobook Shelf  

Donovan's Picks

25 Years of USA Today
USA Today
Sports Publishing LLC
804 N. Neil Street, Champaign, IL 61820
9781596702875, $24.95

25 YEARS OF USA TODAY: THE STORIES THAT SHAPE OUR NATION is an outstanding recommendation for any general-interest public lending library. It gathers some of the finest stories from USA Today from 1982 to current times, chronicling the political and social developments which have affected the nation. From the L.A. riots to Clinton'' impeachment, all the major stories of the past decades are covered and supplemented with fine color photos.

Designer's Atlas of Sustainability
Ann Thorpe
Island Press
1718 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20009
9781597261005, $29.95

Issues of sustainability are key to many different kinds of designers, from architects to graphic designers - and this title is designed to cross genres to appeal not only to designers but to the consumers using their services. Chapters provide a fine introduction to blending sustainability concerns throughout the design process: college-level collections in design as well as general-interest libraries catering to consumers need Designer's Atlas of Sustainability, a key to public policies, consumer needs, and basic sustainability issues.

Johns Hopkins University Press
2715 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218-4363

THIS COLD HOUSE: THE SIMPLE SCIENCE OF ENERGY EFFICIENCY by Colin Smith (0801886228, $25.00 ) blends science with example to discuss questions of how an environmentally friendly yet efficient home is achieved. Homeowners receive a blend of easy science, checklists and information with which to assess energy options and their applicability to home needs and usage patterns. From the safety of ventless fireplaces to alternatives in air conditioning, THIS COLD HOUSE packs in important insights and is a pick for any general interest lending library catering to homeowners and those concerned with energy savings and the environment. Daniel J. Cohen's EQUATIONS FROM GOD: PURE MATHEMATICS AND VICTORIAN FAITH (0801885331, $50.00) discusses the rebirth of abstract mathematics and its connection to efforts to 'touch the mind of God'. Both published and private source materials are used in a title that draws some important analytical connections between philosophy, mathematics and religious inspection, making for an excellent pick for college-level collections strong in science or spirituality.

The Language Studies Shelf

Understanding Language
Elizabeth Grace Winkler
80 Maiden Lane, Suite 704, New York NY 10038
9780826454833, $19.95

Any college-level collection strong in language or linguistics will find UNDERSTANDING LANGUAGE: A BASIC COURSE IN LINGUISTICS a fine introductory primer on the topic. It covers all the key areas of linguistics for beginners, offering a surprising blend of pictures, jokes, diagrams and tables to make for a particularly good student-friendly guide. From pros and cons of traditional language systems and grammar styles to rules of phonetics and how language is acquired, UNDERSTANDING LANGUAGE is packed with important, basic information.

Setting the Stage for Chinese
Yuanchao Meng
Cheng & Tsui Company
25 West Street, Boston, MA 02111-1213
9780887275296, $19.95

Setting the Stage for Chinese: Plays and Performances for Grade K-6 is a compilation of bilingual plays ideal for helping young students learn basic Chinese. The lines for each play are written English, simplified characters, and pinyin romanization; many of the stories recount fables. Designed to introduce students to Chinese culture as well as the language, Setting the Stage for Chinese is a superb "hands-on" supplement highly recommended for any beginning or intermediate-level Chinese-language classroom, regardless of the age of the students.

The Needlecraft Shelf

Essential Baby
Debbie Bliss
Trafalgar Square Publishing
PO Box 257, Howe Hill Road, North Pomfret, VT 05053-0257
9781570763687, $19.95 1-800-423-4525

Expert needlecrafter Debbie Bliss is a former designer for Baby Gap and the author of a number of 'how to' books on knitting including "The Baby Knit Book", "Debbie Bliss Knitting Workbook", "How to Knit", and "Classic Knits for Kids". Her latest contribution to the growing library of knitting instructionals is "Essential Baby" Over 20 hand Knits To Take Your Baby From First Days To First Steps". Enhanced with 75 color photos and 65 color artworks, "Essential Baby" offers a complete collection of knitting projects for dressing new babies in soft and comfortable handmade garments with sizes appropriate for newborns to 18 months. Each individual project comes with thoroughly 'user friendly', step-by-step instructions along with helpful charts and templates. A perfect gift for needlecrafting mothers-to-be, "Essential Baby" is a very highly recommended addition to personal and community library knitting reference collections.

The Biography Shelf

The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry
Kathleen Flinn
Viking Books
c/o Penguin Putnam Inc.
375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
9780670018222, $24.95 1-800-847-5515

The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry: Love, Laughter, and Tears at the World's Most Famous Cooking School is the true story of a former corporate woman's determination to pursue her dream - a diploma from the renowned Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris. Caught amid a morass of short-tempered chefs, fiercely competitive students, and her own sadly inadequate command of French, she nonetheless learned how to gut fish and behead rabbits as well as apply the great techniques of French cuisine. Two dozen recipes pepper this amazing insider's view, but The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry also extends beyond the kitchen into the amazing markets, shops, and avenues of Paris. An ebullient saga of self-discovery and learning what really matters, as well as an amazing tour-de-force of where chefs (iron or otherwise) come from.

The Library DVD Shelf

Dog the Bounty Hunter: The Arrest: The Family Speaks
A&E Video

Any who have avidly followed the reality TV show about Duane 'Dog' Chapman and his bounty-hunting family will find a shocker here when he's rounded up himself, and arrested - for arresting a convinced serial rapist who escaped into Mexico. Perhaps the most gripping DOG episode of all, THE ARREST follows Chapman's arrest and provides commentary and exclusive interviews with Dog, Beth, and the Posse. It's these family insights which contribute to an exceptional DOG package absolutely required for any prior fan - and many a newcomer.

McLeod's Daughters: The Complete Third Season
Koch Vision
22 Harbor Park Drive, Port Washington, NY 11050
1417229802, $79.98

Two half-sisters reunite after inheriting a cattle ranch in the Australian outback - and after 20 years apart, find themselves working together with an all-female workforce. Season Three covers the new challenges the two face running the property. It's a blend of soap opera and primetime drama, packed with emotion and perfect for female viewers. While familiarity with the prior seasons will lend a quicker recognition to the story line here, the third season of MCLEOD'S DAUGHTERS is also a top pick for newcomers.

The Film Crew: The Giant of Marathon
Shout! Factory
0738937711, $19.99

The Film Crew Series is Shout! Factory's first direct-to-DVD offering and provides fans of B-movie drama a fun comedy which pokes fun at cult films through the story of one Phillipides, Athen's greatest athlete who leads the Greeks in a battle against invading Persians. It's a hilarious and zany drama, and a recommended pick especially for collections specializing in either comedy or off-the-wall grade B movies.

Cycles of Madness Volume 1
Cycles of Madness

Cycles of Madness is the best motorcycle DVD presentation for any who like bike rallies and daring rides. It's made by bike lovers for bike lovers and provides nonstop action and entertainment moving quickly from rally shots to babes in bikinis. Any sports collection - especially those strong in autos and motorcycles - will find it a popular lend.

The Panama Deception
Docurama Films
0767094425, $26.95

This extended director's cut of over 80 minutes of bonuses makes the Academy-Award winning film by Barbara Trent and David Kasper an exceptional winner - and required acquisition for any serious dvd library. It's an opinionated answer to the official U.S. government line about the 1989 invasion of Panama and deserves a space in any serious history or military lending library, offering up in-depth investigative information and a probe which reveals the progress of Noriega's relationship with Bush and the CIA.

Docurama Films

BUILDING BOMBS (0767097181, $26.95) offers up rare archival footage and a clear set of insights into a community deeply involved with the hydrogen bomb - Pastoral Aiken, South Carolina, home to the Savannah River Plant where America's secret atomic bomb-making apparatus is housed. The directors interviewed town members for feelings about the bomb - resignation, anger and fear emerged, and this profile of activist community members is packed with their insights and revelations. PLAGUES AND PLEASURES ON THE SALTON SEA (0767098471, $26.95) is another compelling cinema documentary narrated by an independent film icon, John Waters, and providing a surprisingly upbeat, humorous look at environmental disaster at the Salton Sea, where massive fish kills and 120 degree nights are located minutes from urban Southern California. Its rise and fall are documented in a deceptively light account that is both hilarious, wacky and revealing - and this includes lost interviews, deleted scenes, and more. Both are key to any collection interested in social history.

Anchor Bay Entertainment
1699 Stutz Drive, Troy, MI 48084

Two new DVD workouts from CRUNCH fitness are sure to get viewers into muscle-toning shape, and require no equipment other than the body itself and the will to train! Crunch: Belly, Butt & Thighs Bot Camp ($14.98, 41 minutes) offers four increasing difficulty levels of cardio blasts focusing on some of the most common muscle trouble zones. N.A.S.M. certified fitness instructor Teri Ann Krefting leads one through strength training and cardio power drills. Meanwhile, Crunch: Cardio Go-Go Dance ($14.98, 44-minutes) features certified dance master Gypsy Clark in three twelve-minute dances (plus simple warm-up and cool-down routines) that are energetic and easy-to-follow. Both are highly recommended additions to personal fitness DVD libraries.

Kurau Phantom Memory Volume 1: Between Two Worlds
ADV Films
10114 W. Sam Houston Pkwy #200, Houston, TX 77099
9781413914658, $29.98

Kurau Phantom Memory: Between Two Worlds is the first volume of a new Japanese anime DVD series translated into English by ADV Films. Featuring the options of English dialogue or Japanese dialogue with English subtitles, Kurau: Phantom Memory is an action-packed fest following the elite mercenary agent Kurau, whose skills at thievery and mayhem outstrip human possibility. Indeed, Kurau is far from a normal human - her body has been merged with a binary alien life form called the Rynax. An alien perspective shares her consciousness, and her secret is out, leading to a worldwide manhunt. Once the ultimate agent, Kurau is now targeted at every turn! A booklet with interviews rounds out this collection of the first four episodes of this shocking adventure of the hunter becoming the hunted. 100 minutes, color. Also highly recommended are Volume 2: Double Jeopardy, Volume 3: The Binary Complex, and Volume 4: Mirror Image.

The Christian Studies Shelf

Signs of Emergence
Kester Brewin
Baker Books
Box 6287, Grand Rapids, MI 49516-6287
9780801068089, $14.99

SIGNS OF EMERGENCE is a pick for serious ministry and spirituality holdings, covering the basic of how to organize a church of believers and how to make it a decentralized body with more flexibility than the usual church structure. Chapters survey the idea of an 'emergent church' which may be better suited to meet the needs of worshippers. Chapters offer important guidelines and specifics on achieving such an institution.

The Art Shelf

Miller Brittain
Tom Smart
Goose Lane Editions
500 Beverbrook Court, Suite 330, Fredericton, NB, Canada, E3B 5X4
9780864924834, $55.00 1-800-565-9523

Miller Brittain is not only one of North America's most accomplished and influential artists, he is also the only Canadian Official War Artist to have seen active duty in World War II. Born and raised in a small East Coast city, Brittain explored the expressive potential of figurative art while working in either social realist, abstract, or surrealist modes. "Miller Brittain: When The Stars Threw Down Their Spears" by Tom Smart (Executive Directory and CEO of the McMichael Canadian Collection, Kleinburg, Ontario, and the President of the McMichael Canadian Art Foundation) is a detailed history and analyses of this great artist's life and work. Enhanced with an informative essay by Allen Bently (Professor of English, St. Thomas University), and profusely illustrated throughout with examples and samples of art, "Miller Brittain" is a seminal work of impressive scholarship, and one that should be a part of every university art department and academic library 20th Century Art History reference collections and supplemental reading lists.

Pierre Faure
9783866540354, $64.95

Full-page color photos of Japanese peoples and culture pack an oversized, oblong eye-catcher perfect for both display and lending for any college-level art library or collection strong in Japanese culture and images. Pierre Faure focuses on a contemporary Japanese world, juxtaposing buildings with people images and often capturing elements of alienation and angst in his wordless portraits. Any collection seeking a contemporary representation of Japanese culture must have this.

Daab Publishers

YOUNG EUROPEAN FASHION DESIGNERS (9783866540132, $29.95) is a photo profile of new and rising European fashion designers and the fashion lines which are elevating them to new heights. Almost entirely visual in content, it offers full-page color photos of these designs on models and is a top pick for any college-level art or fashion library strong in contemporary fashion design. ARABIAN DESIGN (9783937718545) packs in a montage of Arabian architectural achievements, from cafes and trendy nightclubs to businesses, modern home interiors, and more. Design here is modern in scope and content and presents many innovations and revelations. Both are top picks any art library needs. David Drebin's LOVE AND OTHER STORIES (9783866540347, $64.95) is an outstanding, oversized oblong catalog packed with full-page, full-color reproductions of Drebin's dazzling art. His specialty is women set in landscapes and cultural settings: while the fold-out pages may make for difficult library lending, the total effect is to provide a pleasing, essential catalog of some marvelously complex photos - an important addition to any college-level art library.

David C. Driskell
775A Southpoint Boulevard, Petaluma, CA 94954-1495
9780764942044, $30.00

Essays by Adrienne L. Childs, Ruth Fine and Deborah Willis provide excellent introductory history to the five decades of printmaking by David C. Driskell celebrated in EVOLUTION, a documentary of how printmaking is perceived by an artist who works the print studio himself rather than handing drawings to others for translation. With full-page printmaking examples in black and white and in color, EVOLUTION: FIVE DECADES OF PRINTMAKING BY DAVID C. DRISKELL is an outstanding catalog of a very different printmaking approach and deserves a spot in any art library serious about representing modern printmaking techniques and perceptions.

Grand Batik Interiors
Joop Ave
Tuttle Publishing
364 Innovation Drive, North Clarendon, VT 05759-9436
9789798926266, $49.95

Any college-level art library strong in interior design in general and world interior design cultural influences in particular needs GRAND BATIK INTERIORS. It's packed with the author's extensive background learning, promoting and marketing batik, and comes packed with ideas which offer fabric artists new options for blending batik into home environments. From the latest trends in colors and textiles to alternative uses and options for batik, it's a reference art libraries will find popular and different.

The Military Shelf

The Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story
Diane Ackerman
W.W. Norton
500 - 5th Avenue, New York NY 10110-0017
9780393061727, $24.95

Both military libraries and general-interest holdings strong in compassionate World War II accounts will find THE ZOOKEEPER'S WIFE an engrossing true story, telling of two zookeepers in the Warsaw Zoo who saved hundreds of people from Nazi hands. With most of their animals dead from the inversion of Germany, the zookeeper began smuggling Jews into empty cages to save them - and kept ammunition buried in animal enclosures. The lives of the zookeepers, remaining animals and precious human charges provides a warm set of insights into the courage of individuals during the war.

The World History Shelf

Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA
Tim Weiner
1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019
9780385514453, $27.95

For the past 60 years the CIA has buried its past in secret archives, disguising its drive to change the world as much as to analyze and direct it. Tim Weiner here offers the first definitive history of the CIA, using a blend of information from over 50,000 documents from the CIA's own archives with hundreds of interviews from CIA veterans. From it creation after World War II to its special challenges after 9/11, LEGACY OF ASHES offers a fine in-depth coverage which is perfect for any general-interest library as well as for college-level military or American history holdings.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

Guide to Healthy Fast-Food Eating
Hope S. Warshaw, MMSC, RD, CDE, BC-ADM
American Diabetes Association
1701 North Beauregard Street, Alexandria, VA 22311
1580402704, $9.95

Any with diabetes, pre-diabetes or heart problems as well as those seeking an easy pocket-sized guide to better eating will welcome GUIDE TO HEALTHY FAST-FOOD EATING, which is packed with over 1,500 menu items from the 13 largest fast-food chains complete with nutrition charts, exchanges, serving sizes, and insights on common pitfalls. It IS possible to consume fast food and remain healthy, with the aid of this guide - and any public library lending collection strong in healthy lifestyle presentations will find GUIDE TO HEALTHY FAST-FOOD EATING a popular pick.

The Psychology Shelf

What Is Intelligence?
James R. Flynn
Cambridge University Press
32 Avenue of the Americas, New York NY 10013-2473
9780521880077, $22.00

WHAT IS INTELLIGENCE? BEYOND THE FLYNN EFFECT discusses one of the leading theories of intelligence enhancement by the author of the theory himself, and is an important addition to any college-level holding serious about psychology and intelligence discoveries. Chapters provide the author's long-awaited personal views on the topic, and come from a working scientist in the field whose research serves as a foundation for understanding the evolution and operation of human intelligence. His new picture of human intelligence is not to be missed.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Of a Feather
Scott Weidensaul
15 East 26th Street, New York NY 10010
9780151012473, $25.00

Author Scott Weidensaul has traveled the world tracking and writing about birds and has already written several notable nature books about them, but OF A FEATHER: A BRIEF HISTORY OF AMERICAN BIRDING is much more than just another ornithological study of a passionate hobby. It's a survey of the history of American birding, from early European arrival in North America to its modern popularity among general birdwatchers. From ornithological scientists who early on collected eggs on the frontier to some of the first conservation movements and those who participated them - including a range of unlikely characters - OF A FEATHER is a pick recommended not just for public lending libraries but for any high school to college level collection including ornithological references; especially at the introductory level.

The Science Shelf

Mind, Life and Universe
Lynn Margulis and Eduardo Punset, Editors
c/o Chelsea Green Publishing
Box 428, White River Junction, VT 05001
9781933392431, $21.95

MIND, LIFE AND UNIVERSE: CONVERSATIONS WITH GREAT SCIENTISTS OF OUR TIME provides a review of the latest research on life and its origins - and the thoughts of scientists and researchers on the process and findings. Punset's questions capture the research lives, work and perspectives of these scientists, blending a lively question-and-answer interview style with background history and scientific insights. Perfect for not just college-level collections in science and supplementary classroom reading and discussion on scientific debates and dialogue, but for general-interest libraries seeking further connections between lay readers and scientific research paths.

The Music Shelf

This Business of Global Music Marketing
Tad Lathrop
Billboard Books
c/o Watson-Guptill
770 Broadway, New York NY 10003
9780823077885, $24.95

Today's music is global and reaches a world-wide audience and so attempts to promote and market it necessarily are different from more regional approaches used in the past. Both business libraries and music collections need THIS BUSINESS OF GLOBAL MUSIC MARKETING to understand how music reaches around the world: even musicians need to understand the process. From product and image development and marketing to distribution options and promotion via traditional and Internet means, THIS BUSINESS covers all the basics, offering guidelines for profitable operations in cross-border music commerce and addressing such issues as understanding the world's major regions, exporting to other countries, packaging and pricing music for global sales, and more. All musicians need this.

The Writing/Publishing Shelf

Write is a Verb
Bill O'Hanlon
Writer's Digest Books
c/o F&W Publications
4700 East Galbraith, Cincinnati, OH 45236
1582974594, $24.99

WRITE IS A VERB: SIT DOWN. START WRITING. NO EXCUSES offers writers an excellent survey of how to overcome common barriers to writing and self-expression. Writers who complete projects write and work through these barriers and while plenty of books admonish doing so, few offer up a program to achieve this goal. Chapters on changing set writing patterns to spark creativity, breaking up tasks, and tackling rewriting and polish present the author's own course, and even includes a DVD workshop which compiles all worksheets in the book in electronic form. Especially recommended for aspiring writers.

The Cookbook Shelf

Morimoto: New Art of Japanese Cooking
DK Publishing
375 Hudson Street, New York NY 10014
9780756631239, $40.00

Masaharu Morimoto's cooking has Japanese roots but also draws on other cultural influences, from China to Italy, to explore Japanese cooking in a refined French style. Over a hundred recipes accompanied by color photos explain his unique cooking and presentation techniques, presenting chapters that include sushi, rice, noodles, vegetables and even breads. The color photos are sensational and the dishes will intrigue many a home cook interested in fusion cuisine, making MORIMOTO a top pick for any library strong in international cookbooks.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

The Mystery of 2012: Predictions, Prophecies & Possibilities
Gregg Braden
Sounds True
Box 8010, Boulder, CO 80306-8010
9781591796114, $22.95

What will happen in 2012? Will there be a new age of awakening - or an end to the world as we know it. For years the Mayan calendar predicts this year as the end of an era on Earth - and today both researchers and spiritualists are seeing signs this might be true. Here is a gathering of the leading authorities on the 2012 phenomenon who present their insights about the date, offering up scholarly essays and analysis to consider the spiritual, economic and historical angles of 2012 and its significance. New age holdings, especially, will find it a well-reasoned and logical discussion.

Spiritual Perspectives & Human Facts
Frithjof Schuon
World Wisdom
Box 2682, Bloomington, IN 47402-2682
9781933316420, $21.95

This new translation of the classic Spiritual Perspectives & Human Facts with selected letters added in makes for a fine blending of editorial insights, biographical background, and a fully revised translation of the French edition of the author's notable scholarly work. While not for light reading, it makes an essential addition to any spirituality, new age, or metaphysical studies library strong in philosophical analysis and modern thought, and provides a survey of spiritual virtues and human civilization.

Llewellyn's Complete Book of Astrology
Kris Brandt Riske, M.A.
2143 Wooddale Drive, Woodbury, MN 55125-2989
9780738710716, $18.95

If a general-interest lending library were to obtain only a few astrology books, Llewellyn's Complete Book of Astrology should be one of them. It offers the most complete introduction to astrology available by a popular astrologer who provides a step-by-step survey of the three main areas of popular interest: relationships, career and money. From how the zodiac signs figure in analysis to interpreting a chart, this complete book offers beginners keys to not just accessing astrology, but to applying it to daily living.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Poisoned Pen Press
6962 East First Avenue #103, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Judy Clemens' THE DAY WILL COME (1590582993, $24.95) tells of Stella Crown, who loves her farm and rock and roll: when a rock star comes to town she's intent on seeing his concert, until a bomb threat leads to a missing band member and murder. Soon Stella is more than casually involved with the band as she tries to track down who the murderer is before death strikes again! Wendy Howell Mills' ISLAND BLUES (1590583965, $24.95) tells of Sabrina, who needs a job after moving to an isolated island. A job with the town council seems perfect - until her effort to handle some tourist-related burglaries lead to danger and encounters with a group called Hummers, who claim they can hear noises nobody else perceives. Sandra Parshall's DISTURBING THE DEAD (1590583787, $24.95) tells of Tom, who leaves a small and prejudiced mountain community home to work for the Richmond Police Department. He's settled in a new world until family tragedy brings him back home and into the fold of a dangerous mystery involving murder and escalating violence. All are top picks mystery libraries will find exceptional: with solid plots and atypical settings, they promise to become repeat lending choices for discriminating patrons.

Dying to be Thin
Kathryn Lilley
NAL Plume/Obsidian
c/o Penguin Publishing Group
375 Hudson Street, New York NY 10014
9780451222404, $6.99

After being dumped by her cheating boyfriend and laid off from yet another job, Kate packs up for North Carolina sick of hearing about how she could get more TV work if she were thinner. Her decision to enroll in a fancy diet clinic seems cut and dry - until she discovers someone at the clinic has an appetite for murder and is involving her in the chase of her life Dying to be Thin is a fine, fun read perfect for lending libraries with strong mystery paperback interests.

Berkeley Prime Crime
375 Hudson Street, New York NY 10014

Linda O. Johnston's THE FRIGHT OF THE IGUANA (9780425218020, $6.99) tells of part-time pet-sitter Kendra, who is determined to stay away from the attractive investigator Jeff. Her life isn't to be calm, however: missing pets and a ransom note on the iguana's cage quickly involve her in a crime spree involving kidnapped pets - and when pet murder enters she picture, she finds her hands full. Natalie M. Roberts' TAPPED OUT (9780425218013, $6.99) tells of a dance school threatened by murder. Jenny finds her job as a full-in instructor leads to the disappearance of other acting instructors, and finds herself more than casually involved in the investigation that ensues. Both are excellent, solid choices recommended for discriminating public libraries strong in mystery books.

The Computer Shelf

Fedora 7 Unleashed
Andrew Hudson and Paul Hudson
800 East 96th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46240
0672329425, $49.99

Any college-level computer library strong in modern program representation needs FEDORA 7 UNLEASHED: a survey of the popular Linux distribution developed by the Fedora Project. From basic installation and use to advance functions and daily operations, FEDORA 7 UNLEASHED receives in-depth coverage from a freelance Linux writer and a professional developer and full-time journalist. The two join forces to cover everything about the Linux system, from file sharing to productivity routines. Any college-level library strong in Linux needs this.

The Audiobook Shelf

Clipper Audio
c/o Recorded Books
270 Skipjack Road, Prince Frederick, MD 20678

John Harvey's DARKNESS & LIGHT (9781840321740, $123.75) receives Gordon Griffin's powerful narrative style which perfectly compliments the gripping suspense story of a detective's unsolved case and its return to haunt him eight years later, when his estranged wife's friend's sister vanishes. Another murder involves Elder in some unexpected connections to the past in more ways than one. Sue Townsend's QUEEN CAMILLA (9781846329746, $123.75) enjoys Patricia Gallimore's smooth and gripping narrative voice as it tells of Prince Charles, who lives on a bleak estate with his wife and his life's love Camilla. A range of challenges to the rightful throne including a secret love child who may be the real heir embroils listeners in a fine monarchy fiasco! Rachel Cusk's ARLINGTON PARK (9781846321610, $92.75) enjoys Jilly Bond's excellent and evocative voice as it tells of residents who lead a fine life in Arlington Park, of material prosperity and moral indifference. The lives of various residents of this unusual household are considered in a fine, gentle story of changes. All are excellent picks for lending libraries especially strong in British plots, readers, and flavor.

Penguin Audio
375 Hudson Street, New York NY 10014

William Gibson's SPOOK COUNTRY (9780143142201, $29.95) receives Robertson Dean's Broadway acting expertise and background which lends quiet drama and insights to this story about an investigative journalist on assignment from a magazine which doesn't exist yet. Add into the mix a 20-something Cuban who speaks fluent Russian and a junkie and ex-military troubleshooter and you have a complex involving mystery/drama which is a gripping listen. Jennifer Lee Carrell's INTERRED WITH THEIR BONES (9780143142393, $42.95) features Julliard-trained actor and audio veteran reader Kathleen McNenny, who lends a fine drama to this story of a long-lost work of Shakespeare which invites murder - in precisely the manner of Hamlet's father. High drama evolves in a real thriller. Ken Follett's THE PILLARS OF THE EARTH (9780143142386, $29.95) receives Richard Grant's excellent and detailed TV show background as it tells of Philip, prior of Kingsbridge, a devout monk driven to build the greatest Gothic cathedral in the world. It's an epic story of interpersonal struggles, a man divided, and an elusive lady who will change his life and turn church against state. Plenty of twists and turns make for a spellbinding story line. Patricia Wood's LOTTERY (9780143142645, $34.95) enjoys Paul Michael's extensive onstage and film credits, with a voice which brings to life the story of one Perry Crandall, who does not consider himself retarded despite an IQ of only 76. His Gram has been his world, but when she dies he finds himself alone at age 31 - until his lottery ticket wins him millions and casts him into a very different world. Laurie Viera Rigler's CONFESSIONS OF A JANE AUSTEN ADDICT (9780143142416, $39.95) provides a Jane Austen-inspired comedy and love story exploring an identity in crisis when a modern LA girl wakes up in Austen's time and struggles to fit in. She must pretend to actually be the woman she finds herself in, in Regency England, and despite her fascination with Austen's novels she discovers this isn't really where she wishes to be. All are top picks for libraries and individuals with strong audio fiction and suspense collections.

Brilliance Corporation
Box 887, Grand Haven, MI 49417

ISABELLA MOON by Laura Benedict (1423334310, $36.95) receives Renee Raydman's acting and voiceover skills as it tells of the disappearance of a nine-year-old just as a young woman with no past arrives in town. When she tells the local sheriff Isabella's ghost has led her to the child's hidden grave, she becomes a suspect in a dangerous search for truth. Fern Michaels' FREE FALL (1597375926, $29.95) is read by Laurel Merlington and tells of loyal Sisterhood friends who gather together to talk and laugh for the first time in a year. Tonight it will be finally time to tell a story of teenage love, a brief life of horror, and how the Sisterhood can help with revenge - and a popular movie star's charm and hidden danger. The unabridged Robert Ellis CITY OF FIRE (1423336879, $38.95) deserves ongoing recommendation as an outstanding story of intrigue. A LAPD detective investigates a string of dangerous murders in a story that comes alive under the voiceover talents of Renee Raudman. Dale Brown and Jim DeFelice's DREAMLAND RETRIBUTION (1423312988, $36.95) receives veteran Christopher Lane's excellent talent for building gripping passion as it tells of the Dreamland team, who uses stealth and technology to battle a darkness which is trying to grip America - this time with missing nuclear devices. Global intrigue builds in a gripping narration. All these are perfect picks for any discriminating audio library - patrons will make them popular lends.

James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive, Oregon, WI 53575-1129
phone: 1-608-835-7937

Diane C. Donovan, Editor & Senior Reviewer
12424 Mill Street, Petaluma, CA 94952
phone: 1-707-795-4629

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